Gasol helps Lakers hold on to beat Pistons 98-97

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm •  Published: February 3, 2013
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That set the stage for Nash, whose two misses dropped him percentage points behind Mark Price for the top free throw percentage in NBA history for players with at least 1,200 attempts.

"I feel bad that it could've cost us the game and that I choked two up there," Nash said. "A win is a win, but I take a lot of pride in being a fourth-quarter player and making shots, particularly free throws."

The Lakers scored 10 straight points early in the third to take a 72-54 lead. Bryant highlighted that run with a one-handed dunk while Detroit's Brandon Knight tried in vain to prevent an easy basket.

"We were moving the ball well in the first half, but we got comfortable in the second half again. That's been a problem," Gasol said. "Drummond changed things, but a lot of that was because of Bynum. He's so fast that he gets into the lane and opens a lot of things up for Drummond."

The Pistons rallied quickly, with Drummond showing off his athleticism around the basket. Drummond's two-handed dunk over Gasol made it 76-70, and the Lakers led 78-72 after three.

"We weren't moving the ball, we were over-dribbling the basketball and we weren't guarding anyone," Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. "Then we started to get some stops, got energy into the game and obviously Dre had a huge impact the second half."

Bynum had 18 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, and Greg Monroe added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Clark had 17 points for Los Angeles. Nash had 11 points and 10 assists.

Detroit's Rodney Stuckey was called for his third foul in the first quarter, then picked up a technical to boot. The Pistons turned the ball over nine times in the half, and they finished the second quarter with a terrible defensive breakdown. Bryant was inbounding around midcourt with 0.4 seconds left in the half, and Clark somehow slipped free for an alley-oop dunk at the buzzer that gave Los Angeles a 62-51 lead.

The Lakers did a better job defending that situation on the final play of the game.

NOTES: Knight became tangled with Metta World Peace of the Lakers with 1:43 left in the first half. That got a rise out of the crowd, which no doubt remembered World Peace's role in the infamous "Malice at the Palace" brawl on the Pistons' court in 2004. World Peace was assessed a flagrant foul this time, but the situation didn't escalate. ... Bryant had five assists, snapping his streak of five straight games with at least eight.



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